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Full text of "NightRider"

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child. She won't know." Then she added, without irony:
"I reckon I got a little practice going quietly. Last winter,
you know."

" We could have talked tomorrow."

"No," Lucille Christian answered, "not tomorrow. Not
tomorrow, if I was going to say what I had to say. I had to
tonight. I had to come in here, and say it, now. I might
have gone away tomorrow, and not said it, and then been
wondering all my life how things would have been if I had
said it." She stood in the middle of the little room. In the
instant after she stopped speaking, he was conscious again of
the distant, devouring insistence of the sound the insects were
making off yonder, in the dark, in the trees by the lane.

He let himself sink down again, in the bed. He took his
eyes away from her, and lay on his back, and stared upward
at the indistinguishable ceiling.

Then she said, " Light the lamp."

He pushed himself up.   " They'll see," he remonstrated.

"No," she answered, "they won't see."

He swung himself to a sitting posture on the edge of the
bed, and groped for his overalls, which hung over the foot
of the bed. He put them on, then sat down again on the bed.
"They'll see," he repeated.

" No," she told him, " you can turn it down low. But I
want the light, even a little. To talk by. You know, we've
never talked, not really talked, you and me, in the light It
was always when I couldn't really see you. Your face. I've
thought of that sometimes, and I've felt all at once like I
didn't know you." She paused. Then: "Have you?"

He made no answer.

" Light the lamp," she directed.

He got up, fumbled in the pocket of his overalls for a
match, and moved gropingly toward the shelf where the
lamp was. His bare feet made no sound on the boards of the
floor. He struck the match, shielding the flame with his
hand, and his shadow swayed amorphously behind him on
the walls and ceiling, while he applied the flame to the